Car insurance is compulsory in South Africa and drivers are therefore required by law to have a policy to cover your liability to other road users.
Finding the right policy and the cheapest insurance cover can be a complicated process; drivers use the Internet, by telephone, read magazines, watch TV advertisement to get information on savings and offers on car insurance.
Owning and driving a car means taking on many risks to yourself and others. When a traffic accident occurs, damage, injuries, loss or all of these factors may be inflicted upon you and others. Damage and loss of your property may also occur. Fire, theft, vandalism and natural disasters are other possible risks you face as a vehicle owner.
Car Insurance protects motorists and drivers against liability in the event of an accident. It can also provide cover for the motorist’s own vehicle.
Many different types of vehicle cover are available, ranging from third party cover which protects the individual driver against liability should they injure a third party or cause damage to a third party’s property, but does not provide any cover for the individual’s own vehicle or property, through to comprehensive cover, which can offer protection for accidental damage, theft, fire damage as well as liability towards third parties.
The minimum legal requirement for car insurance to drive in South Africa is Third Party Only.
Here are 5 steps to follow to find the cheapest deal available:
STEP ONE: EXCESS
Voluntary excess – the easiest way to cut your insurance premiums is to accept a higher voluntary excess. An insurer’s standard excess may be R1400; but if you meet the first R3500 of any claim, you’ll see a decline in your premium.
This is simply because you pay for more of the risk so you get a discount by your insurance company. This however is a gamble, insurers should be aware that they may have to meet the cost of a broken window after an attempted theft, then a bill for repairing bodywork damage after a car park crunch.
STEP TWO: SECURITY
One way to get cheaper insurance premiums is to fit a security device. Many insurers advise insurer’s to use Thatcham-rated security equipment, usually the minimum of an alarm.
If you are living in a high-risk neighbourhood which may be known for car-related crime, it would be useful to make use of extra security such as a steering lock. This will save you money when your insurance renewal is due and gives you extra peace of mind.
STEP THREE: NAMED DRIVERS
Adding a named driver to your policy can increase or reduce your premiums depending upon the named driver’s age, sex and driving record. Adding a young driver will increase your premiums, particularly a driver with a limited or poor driving record. However, adding a driver over 30 years of age with a long and clean driving record can cut premiums, particularly if the named driver is a female.
STEP FOUR: ANNUAL MILEAGE
If your annual mileage is 5,000 miles or less, ask your insurance broker if they offer discounts for agreed mileage restrictions, as some insurance companies do give discounts for restricted mileage. However many insurers won’t offer this option as standard but will agree a discount if you ask. Be cautious when choosing this option, as if you exceed the agreed mileage, your insurance policy may be terminated.
STEP 5 – SHOP AROUND FOR GOOD RATES
The biggest potential savings come from shopping around. This has been made much easier with the explosion of the internet. There can be massive differences between the lowest and highest car insurance quotes for exactly the same car and driver. Compare the individual companies to see which one will suit you best. There are many comparison websites available to assist you in finding your perfect insurer.
The Road Traffic Act requires all motorists to be insured against their liability for injuries to others (including passengers) and for damage to other people’s property resulting from use of a vehicle on a road or other public place. It is an offence to drive your car or allow others to drive it without insurance. Car insurance is there to give you peace of mind in keeping you and your vehicle covered in the occurrence of an accident.